Light Up the Night with a Backyard Fire Pit and Solar Lights!

In the fall there are several iconic thoughts that spring to mind of most people. Cool crisp days evoke good feelings and memories created around fall festivals, apple cider, holidays, and other fall activities. One way to share the fall experience with your family is to add a backyard fire pit. What could be better than a cool crisp evening around the campfire with friends and family while roasting marshmallows and making smores? A simple backyard fire pit is an easy project that you can put together to add another special memory making activity to your fall events! (All materials for this project were provided by Lowe's through Lowe's Creative Ideas.) Keep safety in mind while building your fire pit. You need it to be far enough away from your house so that smoke or a large fire won't cause damage. You also need to keep the safety of small children…

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Building a Paving Stone Pathway

Several years ago I built a patio using paving stones. I intended to complete the patio by adding a sidewalk that would bring the paved surface area all the way around to the garage and driveway. This weekend I finally made major progress on this neglected project. Making a paving stone patio, sidewalk, or pathway is not an easy task. It's not that building a patio is complicated but rather that the stone can be heavy and the work is repetitious with a good deal of digging, bending, and lifting. Excavating a space for the project can be difficult too depending on the soil type but this project is definitely one a determined gardener and homeowner can accomplish! I purchased my materials at Lowe's in conjunction with Lowe's Creative Ideas. The first step in building a paving stone project is excavating a level area. In this project I had to…

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Converting a Cabinet for a Garden and Garage Workspace

Recently my mom had her bathroom remodeled. In the process she replaced on of her bathroom vanities and I thought that it might make a good workstation for my many DIY and Garden projects. I'm very pleased with the result which now will provide a clean solid work top, cabinet space, a pegboard area for tools, and best of all it is mobile! I purchased my materials for this cabinet renovation at Lowe's in association with the Creative Ideas program. Materials Outdoor Paint (can be adjusted to match any color you wish) Cabbot Premium Wood Stain and Sealer Screws and Washers Wood Glue 1 - 8 ft. piece of quarter round trim Plywood cut to one 24" x 35" 3 - 8 ft. 2"x4"s 4 caster wheels (two locking) Finish nails Epoxy Powerstrip (optional) You will also need several tools for this project. I used a miter saw, skill saw,…

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How to Build a Raised Multi-Leveled Garden Planter Box

The summer heat is coming and with the heat comes a whole new set of rules for gardening. The warm season vegetables grow great while the cool season plants bolt quickly. What if you want to keep your cool season plantings growing longer into the summer? Is there a way to do that? The answer is yes there is, move to the shade! Many cool season vegetables can still be grown in the summer as succession plantings if given enough shade. They won't last as long as the plants grown in spring but you can still grow and harvest many delicious greens. For my purposes the front porch is a great option. It faces north and receives very little direct sunlight during the day. The light it does receive is mostly in the morning on the east side of the house. While I could have just planted everything in pots…

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Gardening For the Birds and the Bees with Flowering Trees

Gardeners garden for many reasons.  Perhaps the most common reason is to get back to that part of us that belongs with nature.  We want to see the world around us come through our garden and provide for its positive growth.  How we do that can vary in thousands of ways but almost every method provides some sort of food source for nature and its creatures.  Recently I planted a few plants that will one day provide nutrition and shelter for some of nature's creatures. (The materials and plants in this post were provided as a part of Lowe's Creative Ideas!) When providing for nature's growth natives are a great place to start.  When you think of spring flowering native trees and my state (Tennessee) one of the first trees you should think of is the dogwood.  Dogwoods show their blooms (which are really bracts) every spring to the delight…

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Two Easy Projects For Patio Entertaining!

Spring is in full swing here in Tennessee and that means people everywhere are headed outdoors.  Some to play, some to work, and others to just hang out on the front porch with glass of sweet tea.  That's what we do here in the south, sweet tea on the front porch.  This week I put together two small and very easy to do projects that will help with that front porch entertaining!  And because this is a gardening blog I used garden items to complete both of these projects.  What did I make?  A table/cooler/storage unit out of a pot and a sidetable from a plant stand. Both of these projects used materials provided by Lowe's Creative Ideas that are available at your local Lowe's location! How to Make a Table-Cooler-Storage Pot To make the table-cooler-storage-pot I purchased a round unfinished table top.  Lowe's has several sizes available and I…

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Build a Mini-Hoop House to Get an Early Start on the Garden

This winter has been cold and nothing if not unpredictable. Here in Tennessee we're experiencing a warm day every now and then followed by extreme cold. Hopefully now that March has arrived and spring is close things will be shaping up very soon. With that in mind I put together a project that will help me to get a jump start on my vegetable planting this season: a mini-hoop house. I grow most of my vegetables from seed and a hoop house is an ideal way to thwart the cold and get those spring and summer vegetables started early.  Lowe's provided my materials for this project as part of their Creative Ideas program. A hoop-house is essentially a greenhouse. Typically a hoop house will cover a garden area to heat it up enough to extend the season.  Once warm temperatures arrive they can be taken down or covered with another…

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A Window Garden with Shelves

We've all been stuck indoors too long.  It's February and here in TN we should be getting 50 degree temperatures for highs but instead are stuck in the lower 30's or below.  In order to help alleviate the cabin fever and feed the gardening fix I put together a little project for one of our upstairs windows.  I built a pair of shelves that sit in the window clinging to two show rods.  It's a relatively easy project to accomplish with the right tools and the right window.  All of the materials were furnished by Lowe's Creative Ideas. First it is important to have the right window for this.  We have windows with a 6" sill good for setting plants on anyway but something as small as 3" inches would work fine.  For materials I used 1 1"x6" piece of poplar that was 8ft. long, 4 rubber lined clamps (2…

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How to Make an Indoor Decorative Herb Planter Out of a Birdfeeder

The cold temps are keeping you indoors and you are going stir crazy.  You need to do something in the garden, with the garden, or for the garden and the seed catalogs showing up in your mailbox just aren't good enough to get your gardening fix.  Then do this - plant an indoor garden!  Recently I put together a small herb garden that I made from a decorative bird feeder I found at Lowe's.  All materials for this herb planter project were supplied by Lowe's Creative Ideas. Read on to see how I made this decorative herb planter out of a bird feeder! First I gathered my materials for the project which consisted of the bird feeder, sheet moss, two plastic water cups, LED puck lights, soil, and of course some seeds (basil and chives).  Unfortunately my local Lowe's did not have seeds available yet but I had more than…

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Garden Project: Making an Indoor Planter with Growlight

Winter is one of those times when many gardeners wish they could be growing fresh herbs or produce but the weather just doesn't cooperate.  What is a determined gardener to do then?  Build something!  I decided to put together an indoor grow box/planter with a grow light to grow some plants while the weather outside is unsuitable.  I used cedar fence wood (one of my favorite materials), drywall screws, a little wood glue, and a simple cabinet fluorescent light provided by Lowe's to complete this project! First I cut the wood into my desired lengths and sizes.  I used a circular saw to split one fence board in half to get two pieces 26 inches long.  I cut two more pieces from another board at 2 inches wide and 26 inches. The rest of the wood was cut with my miter saw at 26" for the top and bottom boards and…

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